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Author Topic:   Cigarette Lighter Outlet
eportfolio posted 08-09-2007 01:30 PM ET (US)   Profile for eportfolio   Send Email to eportfolio  
I want to install a power outlet [using a cigarette ligher outlet] for miscellaneous accessories like spot lights, cell phone charger, GPS, etc. What size wire should I install between the power outlet and the battery? The worst case scenario is for the spot light since I don't own one yet. Also, does it need to connect directly to the battery or can I connect it to a bus block?
Casco Bay Outrage posted 08-09-2007 02:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for Casco Bay Outrage  Send Email to Casco Bay Outrage     
You can wire straight to a terminal block. Make sure you have an in-line fuse.
Look at what you will be plugging in to determine the greatest amp use. That will tell you what size of fuse.

For wiring size, 12 gauge should do.


sail16 posted 08-09-2007 05:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for sail16  Send Email to sail16     
You can connect it straight to a bus block. However, make sure the wiring along the entire path from the outlet to the battery can handle the load-- not just the wiring from the outlet to the bus.
Bella con23 posted 08-09-2007 05:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bella con23  Send Email to Bella con23     
Your power outlet will most likely be rated for 20 amps. Using 12-AWG wire as CBO suggest will handle that load but the fuse needs to be rated for 20 amps or less to properly protect the wire and outlet.

As sail16 suggest, make sure the load on the buss feeder is is not exceeded with your additional power outlet load.

Over the LINE posted 08-09-2007 06:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for Over the LINE  Send Email to Over the LINE     
Something I just ran into installing a cigarette lighter outlet: Nothing fits. I bought a West Marine branded part and have yet to find a male plug that properly fits. Now I must repair holes to change to a different manufacturer. I wish I had made sure it was an acceptable part before I installed it.
kamie posted 08-09-2007 10:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for kamie  Send Email to kamie     
Over the LINE,

I am getting ready to install the very same outlet. What didn't fit? I have checked the spotlight I purchased the same day and it fits fine?

Chuck Tribolet posted 08-10-2007 12:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
The class act in these sockets and plugs is Marinco. Very
marine grade, and the Marinco plugs lock in the Marinco
sockets. West used to carry Marinco, when West switched to
their house brand, I start driving farther to Boaters World.


Over the LINE posted 08-10-2007 11:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for Over the LINE  Send Email to Over the LINE     
The fit is too loose. If you wedge the plug in or to one side it works but it will not maintain contact without help.

I noticed that the male plugs branded by West Marine have a couple of o-rings on them. I wonder if this solves the problem.

towboater posted 08-10-2007 12:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for towboater  Send Email to towboater     
poor ol West Marine cant seem to get anything right.

Ive been using SeaDog stainless lighter plug on my Tug for a couple of years now and the same style will be installed on my 18 asap. Ive worn out several 12v cell phone charger plugs and GPS plugs in the SeaDog unit.

Im waiting for the day 12v cell phone chargers are upgraded on both ends. I mean, the 110v charger is nice but when I am home, I dont need a cell phone...I need it on the road and a cell phone is only as good as its power supply. My Nextel connection has like 6 different wire looms inside the plug just to charge it. I need the eyes and nerves of a surgeon to connect it. Yeah, I know the plug doubles for other gizmos. Give me a solid easy to find, simple connect and disconnect charging plug.

Wouldnt it be nice if the phone and auto/boat industry standardize a 12v charging plug to a 1/4" banana plug reciever that included a standardized power inverter on one end and sheathed 1/8 on the phone end? You would only have to drill a 5/16th hole to install it wherever you wanted and ALL cell phones could charge on, you wouldnt need to carry around a dedicated charger all the time.
sheeesh. never happen.


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